Fitted wardrobes: 8 steps to perfect storage

Fitted wardrobes, really? I bet that’s what you’re thinking.

You’re probably also thinking fitted wardrobes are dated, ugly and a bit naff – and I get it. I too have seen those designs that go around the bed like a strange sort of storage arch. They make you feel like you’re boxed in, or like something will fall out of the cupboard onto you as you sleep.

Then there are incarnations where odd-shaped cupboards have been unscrupulously built into alcoves. But they don’t quite reach the ceiling or sit flush with the edge of the wall. And there are fitted wardrobes built over stairs that are so deep, you’ll end up in Narnia should you try to reach the back. Can you tell I’ve had some experience with badly designed fitted wardrobes in my days?

But, thanks to working here, I’ve seen many ways in which fitted wardrobes can work beautifully in a bedroom. More importantly, I’ve realised how absolutely and totally useful they can be. The well designed ones are actually an organiser’s dream – and I like organising very much.

So I asked journalist Nicola Hanley to do a bit more digging on modern fitted wardrobes. Then she came up with eight stellar tips to getting this storage type right. May there never be another bed storage arch ever again.

Save space with sliding doors
Combining the best of both worlds, doors in a mirrored finish mean you don’t need an extra full-length design. They can also help reflect the light in your bedroom, which can make it feel brighter. And as they don’t open like hinged doors do, they are ideal for smaller schemes. This is because sliding door fitted wardrobes don’t use precious floor space when open.
Spaceslide Signature sliding doors fitted wardrobes
Spaceslide’s Signature sliding doors, from £810. With a bronze mirror finish, they feature an aluminium frame designed for easy opening and soft closing. The Signature storage in Stone Grey includes rails, shoe shelves, and drawer units.
Let there be light
This is such a small touch in fitted wardrobes with such a luxurious and helpful result. LEDs triggered by sensors within a bespoke wardrobe will illuminate the contents, so you can easily find your favourite outfit. Make sure your hanging rails, as well as your shelves and drawers, have adequate lighting. You could even opt for exterior fixtures to provide atmospheric illumination in your bedroom.
roundhouse metro bespoke wardrobe
Painted in blue-grey Patrician 41 from Designers Guild, this is Roundhouse’s Metro matt lacquer bespoke wardrobe. It features walnut interiors and provides ample storage for this bedroom under the eaves.
Make it neat
Easier said than done, we know (does the pile of clean clothes ever go away?!) But… fitted wardrobes that stretch floor to ceiling and wall to wall create a streamlined look. They also eliminate dust traps. You still have to remember to put your laundry away, though *sigh*.
Emphasising the simple Shaker styling on Neville Johnson’s new Wentworth bedroom furniture, the dramatic Lithadora colour from the company’s bespoke paint palette also gives this timeless design a contemporary feel. 
Do the double
Your and your partner might need different storage set-ups, so separate but matching fitted wardrobes will enable you to tailor the internal configurations to suit everyone’s needs. Tall hanging space is ideal for longer dresses, while a shorter set-up will work better for jackets and suits. Consider shallow drawers for underwear and swimwear and deeper ones for bulkier garments such as jumpers and cardigans. Also think about fitting in dividers and inserts to help keep small items such as ties, jewellery and make-up neatly in place.
Daval built-in wardrobes
Mix materials and textures like in this Daval Mayfair super matt charcoal and Varenna grey oak bedroom furniture with rich brown leather-bound handles.
Mix it up
Bedroom storage now has to work harder than ever to accommodate all our belongings, so incorporating open shelving and media units (featuring cable management for a neat finish) will give you extra flexibility.
corner wardrobes
Part of Go Modern’s Cinquanta collection, this Angolo corner wardrobe in Olmo 29 has an open-pore finish with the woodgrain visible through the lacquer.
Think about a walk-in
Sounds dreamy, yes, but it’s not out of reach even if your space is on the modest side. If you have an spare bedroom that is otherwise unused or can maybe steal some space from an adjoining area, converting it into a walk-in wardrobe will provide floor-to-ceiling storage that will ensure you can find a home for all your belongings. Not to mention it will feel super luxurious, too.
John Lewis walk in wardrobe
Open storage in this walk-in wardrobe by John Lewis of Hungerford makes clothes easy to access. It features solid oak, dovetail jointed drawers, wood and curved chrome hanging rails, a pull-out shoe rack and an oak divider insert for accessories.
Look for space savers
Fitted wardrobes are a good choice for loft bedrooms. They allow you to utilise all available floor area under the roof and between the rafters to create a variety of storage solutions, without infringing on valuable floor area. Look up, look sideways, be creative and you’ll make the most of every inch. Oh, and get the experts in too, as they’ll measure up and offer you ideas on how you can really get the most out of your loft.
built in drawers and pull-out shoe rack
This loft conversion uses the sloped alcove to create built-in drawers and a pull-out shoe rack between the rafters. It also features a fitted wardrobe with slanting doors. Designed by Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture.
Don’t forget the finishing touches
Once you’ve got the bones right, now comes the fun part. Bedroom furniture comes in a myriad of colours and finishes, ranging from timeless classic looks to ultra-modern designs. Opt for shades and materials that complement the style of your home and consider coordinating these units with those in your bathroom, ensuite, or even your kitchen for a coherent look. With a bit of luck and design know how (which hopefully you’ve gained from this very article), your new fitted wardrobes will look as though they were always meant to be there – and with even more luck they’ll mean your bedroom is perfectly organised. Although, we won’t hold it against you if that laundry pile creeps in…
green fitted wardrobes
Make sure to go for a nature-inspired shade to create that sanctuary-like feeling in your bedroom, like the new finish from Trend Interiors called Labrador Green – ideal for a relaxing scheme.

Featured image: Featuring three Wide 400 doors, this wall-to-wall matt white and oak woodgrain wardrobe from Second Nature’s Sliding collection has a white gloss frame.

Want more? Check out how much fitted wardrobes cost.

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